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Top 6 Qualities of a Good Headline

Thanks to social media such as Twitter and Facebook, it’s easier to share content than ever before. And if you’re using these tools, there’s a greater chance that people will read your business blog posts. However, this also places more importance on the title of your posts than in the past. Why? Well think about this: when someone Tweets your blog article, what do other people see? Your headline. That means they will choose whether or not to click on your blog based on your headline alone. No summaries. Probably no pictures.

So how can you write a headline that makes people click through? The truth is, it’s part science, part art. And while we might not be able to lay out a formula for you, we’ve found that good headlines all tend to share most of the following qualities.

  1. Eye-catching – Sounds obvious. You want a headline that will catch people’s attention first and foremost. But how? Begin with trigger words that have proven to work. Things like free, sale, and win are good for posts that offer products. For informational posts, lists such as “top 5” or “how to” tend to catch the eye.
  2. Believable – Don’t get so wrapped up in trying to make things eye-popping that you are untruthful. Nothing will anger a reader like a headline that doesn’t deliver. Sure it might get someone to click, but they won’t come back!
  3. Easy to read – Gimmicks are just that – gimmicks. Stay away from strange fonts, all caps, and the like. Anything that makes your headline more difficult to read will cause people to skip over it.
  4. Active voice – If you use verbs in your title, keep them active. In other words, instead of “7 Ways to be a Millionaire,” make it active by saying something like “7 Ways to Generate Millions of Dollars.”
  5. Brief – Long titles make people yawn. Make your headline short but sweet. Brevity is key, especially since Twitter limits your characters.
  6. Accurate – Give your readers a good idea of what they’ll be reading. Ambiguity is nice in fiction – but this isn’t fiction.

Remember, don’t let your headline be an afterthought. It’s just as important as the actual content of your post. A bad one could cause your article to never get read. A good one could generate click after click after click.

What are some of your best tips for writing killer headlines?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free 160-page copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/bigbook.html

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3 Responses

  1. I’d also recommend thinking about SEO and getting a keyword in the title. This helps improve search efforts and generates traffic over the long term from organic search.

  2. [...] Kennedy, founder of ereleases.com, has written an article on the Top 6 Qualities of a Good Headline.  He explains that people share content all the time through Twitter and Facebook, so we must make [...]

  3. [...] Top 6 Qualities of a Good Headline Sharing blog posts in social media places more importance on the title of your posts than in the past. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE [...]

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